Pub reminded me that it is Pancake Day next Tuesday (20 Feb) and suggested I post a recipe for this. I had completely forgotten about Pancake Day, actually I thought I had missed it but of course it is the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. I never remember exactly when it is because the date always changes but, for future reference it is 6 1/2 weeks before Easter. The only confusion there of course is that Easter is never on the same date!
When my kids were at school here in the village they used to go down to the Witch’s hill and listen for the witch, I am not sure that in this PC world we live in today whether that tradition still stands and it will be a shame if it doesn’t because both my kids loved it.
They do still run a pancake race here although I have not seen it for years due to work commitments. The contestants have to be locals and they have to run round the green tossing their pancakes. There is a very famous race in Olney, which is not a million miles from here, where the participants have to be local housewives wearing an apron and hat or scarf and they have to run much further!
Anyway here goes with the recipe and a few suggestions for the fillings – traditionally all the fats and creams had to be used up before Lent so the pancakes were very naughty….
Basic pancake batter :-
4 oz plain flour
¼ level tsp salt
½ pint soya milk
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan until smoking point is reached
- Pour off any surplus oil and then pour in sufficient batter to coat the base of the pan – the thickness of the pancake is up to you
- Cook until golden brown and then TOSS the pancake – no being wussy and flipping it over with a spatchelor – and cook the other side
Fillings enjoyed by the Antidairyfairy mob :-
Traditional (lemon juice and sugar)
Swedish glace Soya Ice Cream – all flavours but the chocolate and raspberry are favourite, especially teamed with Sweet William Chocolate sauce
(Dairy free) Vanilla Ice Cream and golden syrup/maple syrup
Lemon, sultanas and sugar
Big dollops of (dairy free) chocolate spread
All of the above are extremely naughty but oh so nice.
Roll on Pancake Day!
It’s that time of year when everyone is coughing and sneezing and sore throats abound. My husband is, as we speak, partaking of a dish of my Lime Fluff as he has a rotten cold, is sneezing and wheezing and a sore throat.
We all like comfort food at these times and I suddenly remembered that my lovely mum used to make me a fluffy mousse type dessert at times just like this so I racked my brain to try and think how she made it. I remembered that she used a pack of jelly and I think a tin of evaporated milk but obviously that wouldn’t be any good for my antidairyfairy stance so I decided to experiment as follows :-
1 pkt lime* jelly (with real fruit juice of course)
½ pt boiling water
1pkt (250ml) Alpro Soya dairy free alternative to single cream.
Tear up the jelly into squares and place in a bowl.
Pour on ½ pt boiling water and stir until all the squares have dissolved.
Leave to cool.
Once cool add the soya cream.
Whisk all this together – an electric whisk is best – and then when it is light and fluffy
Put in the fridge to set.
This really doesn’t take long.
*You can, of course, use any flavour jelly but my particular favourite is lime.
I call this lime fluff as it is extremely fluffy and just slides down the throat, cleansing the mouth and soothing as it goes.
This is a great party dish for kids too.
As mentioned in a previous post www.dairyfree.co.uk have some lovely recipes, especially chocolate ones for all antidairyfairies out there.
I tried the chocolate and walnut slice, it is so easy to make and the results are very moreish, they remind me of brownies in the way that the cake sticks to the top of your mouth and the walnuts just add to the flavour.
This slice would be lovely with chocolate custard or ice cream (dairy free of course).
Will definitely be trying more of their recipes.
I have just come in from work after spending 7 hrs slogging away at briefs and petitions (yes, I do have a serious hat) and looked in the fridge for inspiration – do I want pasta or sausages? Neither were very inspiring until I suddenly thought of my ‘chuck it all in’ cassoulet, at which the French would probably faint. Anyway have just made a huge panful and can’t wait for dinner, it’s cold outside, starting to rain and this is just the thing to pick my husband up before he goes out to rugby training later (fear not, he is the trainer and will be directing operations so will not be sick) :-
As I said this is my version of cassoulet on the run, I mean who wants to slave over a stove after being at work all day!
4 – 5 sausages cut into chunks (Vegan sausages can be used)
2 onions chopped
1 tin chick peas (drained)
1 tin mixed beans in a chilli sauce (or anything similar you have in the cupboard)
1 tin chopped tomatos
Chorizo chopped into chunks (optional if you are vegan)
Big squirt of garlic paste
1 heaped tsp of smoked paprika (sweet) or more if you don’t use chorizo.
Cup ful of red lentils
Soften the onions in some olive oil, then add the chorizo and sausage and brown. Add the garlic paste and paprika and mix in then add the chopped tomatos, chickpeas, lentils and mixed beans.
Add water and stir well, bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for at least 1/2 hour.
Keep checking as this will stick to the pan, especially if you don’t use a heavy one.
This is so easy and in my version anything suitable that I have left in the fridge gets chucked in, waste not want not is what I say. Today’s version has a handful of green beans, a small portion of butternut squash that I cooked with red pepper and bacon and a jacket potato left over from last night. It all went in and smells delicious so I’m off.
I received my Winter edition of the Sainsbury magazine this morning and on glancing through the letters read one that was praising Sainsbury’s Free From range as she had been diagnosed with a wheat/gluten allergy. Yes, I agree, if you have this type of allergy they have made the effort to provide substitutes for bread (which incidentally I have to say tastes like eating old cardboard and costs the earth), biscuits, flour etc. BUT WHAT ABOUT DAIRY FREE, they have made a token effort and that’s about it.
So, once again, I put on my ranting hat and fired off a letter to the magazine asking why supermarkets in this country cannot provide these foods. If you go to Australia you can buy most things in a dairy free version – I know this because Ella has travelled in Australia and she has no problem with food over there – so if they can do it over there, why can’t we do it here or is that just something else the Aussies can beat us at! You can buy a chocolate spread over there which actually tastes just like Nuttella, it is called Sweet William Chocolate Spread, so why can’t you get it here?
This brings me to Christmas, what do you hang on your Christmas Tree if a member of the family cannot eat chocolate. You cannot put the usual chocolate treats on there because that would just be mean – after all Christmas is a time for thinking of others isn’t it – so what do you put on it( I now either buy or make gingerbread stars and hang them on the tree with bright red ribbon. Not only do they taste lovely but they smell lovely and make the room feel so cosy invoking memories of childhood Christmases before the massive materialistic market swung into being). If you try and buy sweets to put on the tree the choice is limited to marshmallows, sugarad almonds (yuk) or jellies, all of which are so everyday that it doesn’t feel right putting them on a tree.
Anyway, for all those who cannot eat chocolate but love it (that would be me then) here is a recipe from a dairy free cookbook I have and I am going to try it today so here goes :-
7 oz caster sugar
1 tbsp water
1tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp malt extract
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3 oz brazil nuts chopped
1 tbsp vanilla essence
Line a small 4 x 6 inch tine with either greaseproof or rice paper.
Melt the sugar, water, honey and malt extract in a pan, without boiling until the sugar is dissolved and then bring to the boil stirring constantly until the liquid becomes golden brown.
Remove from the heat and then stir in the cocoa powder mixing it until it is all dissolved and then stir in the chopped nuts and vanilla essence. If it cools too quickly return it to a gentle heat to get malleable and then pour into the dish and leave it to cool.
When cold cut into squares and then gobble up until you feel decidely sick – no not really, just enjoy.
I love shopping in a proper market, seeing all the fresh veg and snapping up bargains. It was when I saw peppers and tomatos on offer for £1 for a big bowl of each that I remembered a reading a recipe for this soup :-
- 3 Red peppers
- 1 1/2lb tomatos
- 1 chorizo cut into lardons (I buy a pack of two from Sainsbury but it depends how you buy it and how much you like it but it gives the soup a lovely smokey taste)
- 1 tin chickpeas (drained)
- 1 pint water
Put the peppers (deseeded or not, whatever takes your fancy) and tomatos in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes until soft. Put these in a blender along with the water and whiz up until you have a nice smooth soup. Fry (I don’t use any oil as loads comes out of the chorizo) the lardons of chorizo for a couple of minutes and then add the chickpeas to the pan so they absorb all the oil and gently heat through for another couple of minutes until the peas soften slightly. Put the blended soup, chorizo and chickpeas in a saucepan and heat through gently so all the flavours infuse.
Serve with hot pitta bread or chunks of fresh bread.
I have now made myself hungry and so am off to make some of the above for myself.
Well after disembowling the pumpkin so that Ella could make a nice scary lantern for Halloween – yes I have never grown up – I had a nice bowlful of pumpkin that I needed to be creative with. Then I remembered a lovely recipe for sweet potato soup and so here we go (I just added the pumpkin to it to see what it was like and it works) :-
Sweet Potato Soup (pumpkin optional)
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 large red pepper (deseeded & chopped)
1 1/2 lb sweet potato (peeled & chopped)
150ml coconut milk
1 pt vegetable stock (more if you want it)
Cook the onion in the olive oil until soft but not brown and add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the sweet potato, pepper (and pumpkin if you have it) and then pour in the stock. Bring all this to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes until all the veg is soft. When cool whiz in the blender. Add the coconut milk when heating up soup and seasoning of your choice (mine’s ooodles of black pepper) and then serve. You can top with a little corriander if you have it or some yummy croutons.
Serge this one’s for you.